Leadership Changes at ODVA

Leadership Changes at ODVA

‘Tis the season–for leadership transitions, that is. ODVA joins OPC Foundation in transitioning from long-time leadership. This one I have been expecting.  ODVA‘s Board of Directors announced that Dr. Al Beydoun has been appointed as President and Executive Director of ODVA.  Dr. Beydoun, who currently serves as ODVA’s Vice President of Technology and Standards, brings a wealth of experience in engineering management and electronic systems development to the organization.

Dr. Beydoun began his career at Ford Motor Company and Visteon Corporation working in the design and development of powertrain controls products, before moving to Lear Corporation.  At Lear, he served most recently as Director of Software and Systems engineering, supporting global markets with various electronic modules.  Dr. Beydoun holds an undergraduate and a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan, a Ph.D. in Electrical and Systems Engineering from Wayne State University, and an MBA from the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University. 

The Board also announces that Ms. Adrienne Meyer has been appointed as Vice President of Operations and Membership.  Ms. Meyer’s professional experience has focused overall on business operations for not-for-profit organizations and associations.  She has held positions of increasing responsibility at ODVA, most recently serving as its Director of Membership and Operations. Ms. Meyer holds an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.  

“It is an exciting and dynamic time in the industry, as new technologies for IIOT and Ethernet are emerging that will enable customers utilizing CIP-based EtherNet/IP to adopt the technology in new applications and at new levels,” said Mr. Fabrice Jadot, Senior Vice President for Innovation & Technology and CTO, Industry Business for Schneider Electric and Chairman of the Board of ODVA.  “With this leadership team, ODVA reinforces its strong organizational structure, which will allow it to continue to deliver innovative industry solutions.” 

“The collective experience and knowledge that Dr. Beydoun and Ms. Meyer bring to the leadership of ODVA will enable the organization to continue to serve the vendor community and membership as we work to solve industry’s challenges,” said Dr. Jürgen Weinhofer, Vice President of Common Architecture and Technology at Rockwell Automation and ODVA Treasurer.

Ms. Katherine Voss, ODVA’s past president, is continuing to support the organization as an advisor in this transition.  Voss’s remarkable leadership of the organization served as a foundation for the growth of ODVA technologies, in particular EtherNet/IP.  The Board recognizes her stewardship of the organization with deep appreciation.

Members, vendors, and interested stakeholders who are attending the SPS IPC Drives show in Nuremberg, Germany are invited to visit the ODVA exhibit in Hall 5, stand 338, on Wednesday 28 November at 16:30 hr for a reception to meet Dr. Beydoun and Ms. Meyer.  In addition, ODVA will be holding its fourth quarter briefing for the media on Tuesday 27 November at 14:45 in the Istanbul Room of NCC Ost.

Joint Venture to Tackle Security Needs in Industrial IoT Environments

Joint Venture to Tackle Security Needs in Industrial IoT Environments

This is security day at The Manufacturing Connection. Not only do we have an implementation of CIP Security (see other post today), demand for increased protection where IT meets OT drives this decision to form a new company.

Moxa Inc., a leader in industrial communications and networking, and Trend Micro Inc., a global leader in cybersecurity solutions, have executed a letter of intent relating to the formation of a joint-venture corporation-TXOne Networks-which will focus on the security needs present in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) environments, including smart manufacturing, smart city, smart energy and more.

Historically, Information Technology (IT) and Operations Technology (OT) have operated within industrial organizations as isolated and independent networks with different teams, objectives and requirements. Organizations are teeming with machinery and devices that were not originally designed for connectivity to the corporate network, which means they often lack the ability to be easily updated or patched for security measures. There is a critical need to secure these devices, identify clear ongoing ownership, and to provide a holistic view across the broadening attack surface within enterprises.

Trend Micro, majority owner in TXOne Networks, identified the potential challenges faced by IIoT stakeholders early on and has been working on several fronts to secure the entire ecosystem, from data center to device. Moxa Inc. brings more than 30 years of experience in industrial networking and protocol expertise. TXOne Networks combines these strengths and responds to the growing security needs of industry, such as smart factories that require a unified solution for delivering deeper visibility into both devices and protocols. These complicated environments are made up of multiple layers requiring protection that sits in and between IT and OT. The responsibility for the security of these combined layers is traditionally unclear.

“I’m excited about this venture and how Trend Micro continues to take diverse yet focused growth steps that allow our teams to remain concentrated on core strengths while giving room to better serve customers and advance into new markets,” said Eva Chen, chief executive officer for Trend Micro. “Partnering with Moxa will combine more than 60 years of expertise to accelerate our ability to view and secure the extended enterprise including these important but often overlooked OT environments.”

TXOne Networks will build security gateways, endpoint agents and network segmentation to secure, control, and provide visibility of operational technology and equipment. Unlike some solutions focused solely on protecting assets nearest to the IT layer via detection, TXOne Networks has expertise closest to the OT layer and will provide proactive, timely and easily implemented solutions to secure the Industrial Control Systems (ICS) world.

In addition to investing intellectual capital, funds, and dedicated headcount, each parent company lends complementary channel expertise. For its part, Trend Micro brings IT channel partner strength while Moxa brings OT channel partner strength. Together these reinforce the business model and geographic territory targets. TXOne Networks will be led by Dr. Terence Liu, Trend Micro Vice President and former CEO of Broadweb. With experience building both products and teams, Dr. Liu will bring nearly 20 years of security product expertise to this new team.

“With this joint venture, Moxa and Trend Micro will position TXOne Networks as a global leader in the industry to create effective IIoT security solutions that help ensure that IIoT applications and critical infrastructures are secure,” said Andy Cheng, Strategic Business Unit President for Moxa Inc. “Industrial automation customers around the globe will be able to reap the benefits of having a holistic OT/IT security solution to protect assets and reduce operational risk.”

TXOne solutions also will enable OT customers to optimize network infrastructure for more IIoT opportunities. They will benefit from Moxa’s expertise in building reliable networks to bring more legacy and disparate networks into on industry-grade Ethernet backbone and raising the security level of the entire network’s communication to help drive nonstop productivity and cost reduction. Professional services will also be provided including security risk assessment, security breach response, and access to threat intelligence from Trend Micro Research and its Zero Day Initiative (ZDI).

“In a world where attacks are getting more persistent and sophisticated, while organizations are struggling with skills shortage and alert fatigue, these two groups are joining forces to successfully secure enterprises around the globe,” said Dr. Terence Liu, General Manager, TXOne Networks. “I am eager to pursue the opportunities and challenges this team will tackle in the months and years to come.”

Universal Robots Hires Former Rethink Robotics Employees

Universal Robots Hires Former Rethink Robotics Employees

This is good news for the collaborative robot market and for many people after the closing of pioneer company Rethink Robotics. And a home for Baxter and Sawyer.

Human-like Robot

Baxter the Robot

Universal Robots (UR) is hiring 20+ Rethink staff members, merging UR’s Boston office with Rethink’s former headquarters in the Seaport area in Boston, with immediate effect. These key personnel bring extensive collaborative robotics experience in engineering, product development, and customer applications, which will combine well with UR’s expertise to continue to drive new and innovative collaborative robotics solutions.

“Our new colleagues from Rethink have extensive expertise, knowledge and know-how not only about the technology but indeed also about the market conditions and what the customers’ pain-points are. All of this will benefit our customers and partners as we face an increase in competitors due to the huge market potential for collaborative robots,” says Universal Robots’ President Jürgen von Hollen. “Our ability to secure key members of the Rethink team will have a significant positive impact in meeting market needs and driving innovation.”

Collaborative robots, now the fastest-growing segment of industrial robotics, is forecasted to grow from USD 283 million last year to USD 3.26 billion in 2022 according to BIS Research. Universal Robots’ market-leading growth means continually adapting the company structure and processes to deliver its ambitious targets for 2019 and beyond. The addition of key Rethink Robotics personnel will help expedite UR’s strategic ambitions and actions.

“Rethink Robotics – along with Universal Robots – has been a pioneer in driving and developing the collaborative robotics market globally,” says Jürgen von Hollen. “The company was always a good competitor, which helped us drive cobot awareness worldwide, and we want to make sure its customers can continue to fulfill their collaborative automation initiatives. “

Universal Robots offers a future-proof roadmap for customers of Rethink’s Baxter and Sawyer models, and is ready to help those customers transition to UR cobots.

Universal is a part of Teradyne Inc., is headquartered in Odense, Denmark. In 2017, Universal Robots had a revenue of USD 170 million.

Burke Steps Down After 23 Years at OPC Foundation

Burke Steps Down After 23 Years at OPC Foundation

Tom Burke stepped down as President and Executive Director of the OPC Foundation after 23 years of leadership. He will remain on the Board of Directors continuing his global evangelization for the standard.

Stefan Hoppe, currently a vice president of the organization, becomes the new President and Executive Director. This follows on the recent news that the Board created a new Chair position and elected Veronika Schmid-Lutz of SAP to that position.

Hoppe is a familiar face in the community through his work as VP of Marketing for the past four years.

He joined BECKHOFF in 1995 where he developed OPC classic server and in 2006 the first OPC UA server integrated into an embedded controller. In 2008 he initiated and chaired the PLCopen OPC UA Companion working group. In 2010 Mr. Hoppe was elected President of OPC Foundation Europe. Since 2014, he is Vice President of the OPC Foundation and member of the OPC Board.

Hoppe said “It is truly an honor to be entrusted with the responsibility and exciting opportunity to lead this incredible global organization towards its full potential. While the OPC Foundation roots come from industrial automation and will always be grounded there, I believe it is our duty to greatly widen our horizons in multiple directions – inside industrial automation but also into other new markets.“

On the future adoption of the OPC technology Mr. Hoppe continued, “the value of the open, secure, vendor independent data interoperability the OPC UA standard introduces is universal and is as important to IoT applications across all markets as Ethernet was to connect computers and is to the Internet. My mission is to position and grow the OPC Foundation to work on this scale.”

Elaborating on his decision to change roles, Burke said, “After an amazing 23 years, I have decided it is time to turn over the reins of the day-to-day operations as the President and Executive Director of the OPC Foundation to the next generation. I believe Stefan Hoppe is the right person for this job as he has clearly demonstrated his commitment and strong leadership on many occasions. I look forward to him advancing the OPC Foundation and its OPC UA technology.”

Hoppe concluded “On behalf of the OPC Foundation I sincerely thank Thomas Burke for the vision, leadership, and tireless evangelism he provided all these years. It was great to work with Thomas Burke for the last 8 years and I appreciate his decision to continue his worldwide OPC UA evangelization and contribution of his deep valued insights and strategic advice.”

I am not surprised by the changes. I’ve worked closely with Tom for many years. I’ve also known Stefan since his days at Beckhoff Automation. His presentations for OPC UA have increasingly become less German-centric remaining a powerful statement of the value of standards for the successful implementation of Industry 4.0 and Digital Transformation.

I view this transition as a classic move from the entrepreneur to management. In the end it will be a positive step for the organization. I wish them all well.

Global Industrial Manufacturing Merger and Acquisition Activity Recedes

Global Industrial Manufacturing Merger and Acquisition Activity Recedes

Merger and Acquisition (M&A) activity in the industry segment I cover seems to have been hot for some time. I, along with others dependent upon the strength of the industry like say magazine media companies, view market consolidation as having the potential for decreasing revenues. Fewer companies makes for a less vibrant marketplace. Just take a look at the size of the magazines covering controls and automation these days.

Although this report covers a much broader segment than controls and automation, I always study the quarterly PwC M&A report carefully. And here is Q3 2018.

Global industrial manufacturing M&A results for Q3 2018 experienced a significant pull back in deal value from the Q2 2018 historic high with aggregate disclosed value of $11.7 billion, which is a 73% decrease quarter on quarter and a 52% decrease compared to the three-year quarterly average. The most recent quarter is directionally consistent with the 42% decrease seen in global cross-sector M&A deal value from Q2 2018. Since PwC’s last publication, the US administration has taken steps to implement tariffs on imported goods and a trade war has ensued. The uncertainty around how this will affect the M&A landscape more heavily weighed on industrial manufacturing than other sectors this quarter.

Looking at deal volume, there were 477 deals announced in Q3 2018 compared to 612 deals announced in Q2 2018, a 22% decline. The three-year average number of announced deals was 624 to which the 3Q 2018 results represent a 23% decline.

Worldwide cross-sector and industrial manufacturing deal making had been humming along with five and four consecutive quarters of deal value growth, respectively, prior to Q3 2018. The question remains if this contractionary quarter is the beginning of a trend or just a pause in action resulting from uncertainty in the economic, regulatory, and political environments.

Key trends/highlights

  • Total aggregate disclosed deal value sank 73% to $11.7 billion in Q3 2018, a 52% drop compared to the three-year quarterly average of $24.2 billion and a 73% decrease from Q2 2018 of $42.9 billion.
  • Total deal volume decreased to 477 deals in Q3 2018, a 23% drop compared to the three-year quarterly average of 624 deals and a 22% decrease from the 612 announced deals in Q2 2018.
  • There was $78.9 billion of deal value announced for the first nine months of 2018 compared to $60.4 billion for the same period of 2017, a 31% increase.
  • There were 1,738 deals announced for the first nine months of 2018 compared to 1,906 deals for the same period 2017, a 9% decrease.
  • A $1.2 billion merger was the largest deal announced in the quarter.
Continuous Learning For Self Development

Continuous Learning For Self Development

Continuous learning is essential for economic survival in this increasingly technological world. However, I believe it is also essential for growth as a human. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in technology and organizational success that we forget that our first duty is to improve ourselves.

Drawing as Thinking

When you take notes or think about a project, what do you write? Do you use pen and paper? Or some sort of notes app or outliner on your computing device?

How about drawing mind maps or sketching ideas? On listening to a recent podcast I jotted this note

Drawing is not an artistic process; it is a thinking process.

Math as Thinking

Reading Peter Diamondis’s newsletter recently, he once again talked about how worthless math was in school—“I have never expanded a polynomial in my life.” I bet he used the logical thinking instilled by working math problems his entire life!

Wishing for Certainty

When I was young I knew old guys who had worked for the same company for many years. There was a certainty about life. I, on the other hand, have never really known that certainty. Here is a thought that once again draws out that idea of clear, logical thinking

The antidote to uncertainty is not certainty—which is impossible—but clarity.

It’s all about passion

Henry Cloud—The fruitfulness of our lives will come from our hearts. Developing our inner selves helps us prioritize our lives. Our hearts will determine the “issues” of our lives.

Resources

Your most important resources are time and energy.

Leadership

Andy Stanley—Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.

Follow

Follow this blog

Get every new post delivered right to your inbox.